Yet more news from Christchurch, where the aftershocks continue, sometimes as many as four in a quarter of an hour, their magnitude varying from around 3.6 to 5.2. We're beginning to learn that a big earthquake is only the first bit; until the planet settles down again there's a lot of jostling for room among its components. If you're an obsessive like me you subscribe to and get an email for every decent-sized earthquake in the country, though at 178 since Saturday you have to be a True Nerd to maintain interest. Obv. Mr Knight is the office Nerd:

Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 3:26 PM
Subject: earthquake
We're sitting here at work betting on the magnitude of the aftershocks. Where we are, we get to hear a very loud, low, "wump" and then you get the motion. 15 minutes later I get the email and inform everybody of the results. However it is now getting confusing because we've had 2 quakes inside the last 15 minutes, the last one of which was a real whopper. We seem to be getting a lot of them.
There is definitely a feeling of the Dunkirk spirit here although of course I wasn't there, I only imagine that's what it was like.
The old Waimakariri bridge is now shut until further notice, so it's the motorway bridge for me now unless that is going to be shut as well. That will mean a 150km detour through Oxford.

And Martin van den NeiwaalbotherIstillcan'tspellit is reporting hoarding and general shopemptiness. (Shopemptiness is a new word. One has to develop a lexicon to keep up with current events.)

Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:14 PM
Subject: Hamstereinkauf
Today I took a stroll and visited the local shops and supermarkets. I stood and watched someone at Pack N Save fill their empty trolley with the entire supply of bottled water on the shelf, leaving... well, none. As Hanna said, unless they are gathering supplies for their entire water-less neighbourhood (possible) .. ooh shakke!!! ooh.. OK, it's over.. Um, unless they are gathering supplies for their entire water-less neighbourhood there's no need to take all the water leaving others with none whatsoever. The supermarkets are doing very well - $$$. They were only down for one day (Saturday), but since then it's been flat out buy buy buy. I went to Countdown supermarket as well and they have signs up; 4 bottles of water per person, 2 packs of juice max .per person. The shelves are still largely empty for 'essentials' such as water, juice, tomatoes in cans, toilet paper, bread (though not as bad), and strangely potato chips.
In some ways I see this whole experience as a precursor to the effects of Peak Oil. I find it interesting to think about the things we rely on day to day, and how, when there is an interruption, a sudden discontinuity, how we can survive and maintain 'normality'. It's easy to survive a 'temporary interruption to broadcasting' by being prepared and stocking up on things. Bottled water, food etc. One thing that has been very useful here where the tap water is not yet safe for drinking, has been a bottle of no-water hand cleaner. It actually goes a long way. The small bottle we (two people) have is only 100mL or so and is still largely full after four days. Some kind of water jerry can with a piddly little tap would also be good (we don't have one), filled with boiled water/rain water. Of course, stockpiling is only good for so long. In a prolonged decline, Peak Oil scenario, the no-water hand cleaner will be used up after a couple of weeks, the store of rice will eventually be eaten, and the meths for boiling the questionable water will eventually run out. That will become the new normal and a real test of our survival skills.
Even with rationing, the Countdown supermarket stocks are slightly depleted (Pic: Martin van den Nieuwelaar)

Mr Knigght (another bad spelling day here) reports everyone is now getting a bit fed up. Apparently there's only so much fun to be had out of losing your water supply electricity job and sewerage system and having your house knocked down.

Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:19 AM
Subject: earthquake
I'm getting a little tired of these aftershocks now. We only tend to comment on the bigger (5+) ones. We are still getting these larger aftershocks regularly; I experienced a 5.1 this morning riding to work. I was stopped at traffic lights when I heard a very loud bang and then all the lights started swaying in unison, closely followed by the sound of falling masonry. Usually I'm sat at work and my monitor does a little dance across the desk so it made a nice change. The aftershocks are doing much damage to already weakened structures. The Lyttleton tunnel is now closed due to damage from one of the 5.4 yesterday.
My ride in this morning was cack - mild drizzle - but as the ECan website said the bridge was open I thought I'd ride anyway. Well ECan are a bunch of hairy fat liars and I got to the closed bridge with no signs of any shuttle "service" to take cyclists around so I had to ride down the motorway again. Fortunately going south only requires a short 2km hop. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do tonight coming home since all the roads that lead up to the bridge from the south are now all closed northbound due to damage. I'll have to ride on the motorway again, but this will be a much longer trip.

Anyway I know he did get home because he was very kind and posted all his photos, full-size, here: And we know they're going to be alright because the government have sent in 35 counsellors at the perky price of $2,500,000. I thought I might nip down and have a look myself, but John swiftly countermanded this decision:'Well it's a waste of fuel, and to be honest, we might as well wait till we get one here.'
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:22:45 PM Categories: Earthquake New Zealand
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